National Championship Gator License Plates Finally Available

Published: May 23 1997


GAINESVILLE — University of Florida National Championship memorabilia is everywhere. And now, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles is giving Gator fans across the state one more opportunity to display the victory — on their cars.

The 1996 National Collegiate Football Championship commemorative license plates arrived Thursday afternoon at Gainesville tag agencies. Other areas in the state will receive shipments Tuesday and Wednesday, said Gail Christy-Jones, assistant bureau chief of titles and registrations for the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Since the department began the collegiate license plate program in 1987, the state has sold more than 129,000 UF tags, making it the best-selling collegiate tag in Florida. Only the Challenger, Manatee and Panther plates are more popular. Florida State University is in fifth place with about 126,000 plates issued.

“I am sure they will (be a big seller) when they first come out,” said Christy-Jones.

UF President John Lombardi was, obviously, one of the first to get a new plate.

“We all purchase our Gator plates so the world will know that we are not only proud to be Gators but that we support the university,” he said Thursday, as he put a new tag on his 1985 GMC truck. “Today, Gator plates also recognize our national football championship, so there is even more reason to get one of the newly designed plates.”

Gator fans can take pride in knowing UF receives $25 for each license plate purchased. UF has raised more than $10 million since 1987 to support the National Merit Scholar program and other UF programs and student scholarships.

In addition to the $25 that goes to the school, the state will charge $10 plus the standard registration fees if the tag is purchased within three months of the renewal date. If the registration date is more than three months away, replacing a plate is $16.60, plus the $25 college fee.


Leslie Fletcher